Craft Studio – July 2020

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I’ve been lucky to always have some spot in my house to craft in. For the longest it was in the laundry room. Our house has a very large laundry area. My father installed two lower and one upper kitchen cabinet along one wall. He put a tabletop on the lower cabinets which gave me a work area with drawers, and he installed a tall pantry cabinet for storage.

This worked out well when I was working full time. But when I retired from my full time job and had time to devote to sewing, I took over the formal dining room. It was the perfect room. The room is totally closed off with doors.

As my passion for quilting and sewing grew, so did my fabric stash and sewing supplies.

I have been watching a lot of craft room tours on YouTube and I keep thinking of different solutions for my studio.

You see the big problem for me is, I have so much stuff that it’s hard to rearrange or organize my room. I have no closet either. But I decided this month to give it another try. I started with the lighting. I had recess lighting installed and a ceiling fan. I had blinds installed in the window. I painted the walls. Now to tackle the craft supplies. I need two major craft areas, one for sewing, the other for scrapbooking. Both crafts have a lot of supplies. Then I have all the other craft projects that I have bought over the years that I wanted to try. I have yarn for crochet, I have cross stitching supplies, I have paint supplies, I have jewelry making supplies and the list goes on and on. I decided a couple of years ago not to purchase anymore craft supplies unless it was for sewing. But I have to admit with this Covid19 lockdown I have bought more yarn.

I organized my fabric on one wall. I made an area for a design wall. I’m going to make monthly mini quilts to display on the entry wall. I ordered a valance, but I did not like it so I’m going to make a valance for the window. I’m going to make table skirts to hide the supplies under the tables. I want to get another chair, so I don’t have to roll around the room with just one chair.

This is not the complete room, it’s still too messy to show. But I will show more photos in the future on my progress.

I told my friends and family that this year for the holidays they are all getting hand made gifts. I really need to go through my craft supplies. What can I say “I’m a crafty kind of girl”.

Day by Day Plans

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I am what you might call a person that likes to plan. I have a planner calendar for every year. On Sundays, I like to plan out my next week. When I go on vacation, I like to have my whole itinerary planned out at least two to three months before I leave home. At the end of the year I enjoy looking at the new year calendar and plan out events for the next year.

At the end of 2019 I did just that. I looked at the calendar for 2020 to plan my events for the year. As I looked at the 2020 calendar, I realized that some holidays or days of celebrations landed on a weekend.

Valentine’s Day – Friday                Fourth of July – Saturday

Halloween – Saturday                    Christmas – Friday

I told my co-workers that next year is going to be a party year (not knowing what was really going to happen).

I had big plans for 2020. I was going on my first real International trip. When I turned 50 years old, one of the first things I did was get my passport. Last year for my Anniversary, me and my husband with friends drove across the Canadian boarder for the weekend. I was so excited to show my passport, but they did not mark a stamp in it. For 2020, me, my husband, and other family members were going to fly to Barcelona, Spain. We were going to stay there for a few days, then board a cruise ship and sail the Mediterranean Sea. You just don’t know how I was looking forward to this trip. It was a two-year plan. And I was hoping this time I was going to get my passport stamped. After Covid 19 our trip plans was halted.

On March 19, 2020, California started the first day of Stay-at-Home order for Covid 19 lockdown. At first, the news made it seem that it was going to be just a couple of weeks. My supervisor sent everyone home and we had a WebEx meeting to discuss our work roles. I work part-time as a receptionist and with the office closed there wasn’t a work from home position for me. At first, I was OK with it. I thought, I can use this time to do some sewing. But the two weeks turned into a month.  I was trying to stay creative and I thought I can do some scrapbooking, I made some knitting projects, I ever did a couple of jigsaw puzzles.

But somewhere during the first and second month of Lock down is when it hit me. Everything became like the movie Ground Hog Day. I would get up and some how the day would go by and I would go to bed. And the next day would repeat. Some days I didn’t even get out of bed. While some people were baking, sewing, reorganizing and other creative things I was kind of feeling a little depressed. I was unable to move, I felt stuck. My job was looking like I would not be returning, my trip was cancelled, I could not make any plans.

By the third month my daughter advised me that I needed to get out of the house. Because I didn’t leave the house, “at all”. She suggested that I just go for a drive. “You don’t have to get out of the car”. Just get a different view. I took her advice. My husband and I drove to the coast. It was just what I needed to clear my head.20200503_131409

I started doing some sewing. I, like a lot of people have made many facemasks and I also started to organize my craft studio. I started my Etsy account and I’m really trying to continue with this blog.

As of today, I really have no plans, not because I don’t want to make any. But everything is still so uncertain. I still try to plan out my week on Sunday, but this is a day by day kind of situation we are all in.

Cat in the Hat Baby Quilt

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I finished this baby quilt for my cousin Raveshia. My double cousin (as I call her) just had her first grand baby. His name is Quest. I call her my double cousin because she is my cousin on my father’s side of the family and my mother’s side of the family. You see, my father’s, brother married my mother’s sister. Two brothers married two sisters. So, this makes her my double cousin. We have the same Aunts and Uncles on both sided of our family.

I bought the Cat in the Hat fabric a couple years ago when I went to Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, in Sisters Oregon. It was a bus trip with my guild. I had so much fun. We road from Fresno, California to Sisters, Oregon; stopping at quilt stores along the way. It was a week long adventure. I am not sure which store I bought the fabric from because I bought a lot of fabric.

This was a very easy quilt to make. I wanted the Cat in the Hat fabric to be the main feature of the quilt. I did not want to cut up the fabric too much, so I left it as a whole block. On the second block the blue fabric was Cat in the Hat fabric and I added the red to compliment the hat on the cat. I alternated the blocks, then framed it using a white and red boarder. I used a striped binding to add more fun with the Cat in the Hat theme.

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My Grandmother would make baby quilts and wedding quilts for the family and I am happy to keep the tradition going. My cousin Loved the quilt and so did baby Quest.

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Making Facemasks

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2020 has definitely been a different year so far. We are currently experiencing a World pandemic. Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome

California was ordered to shelter in place in mid-March. This meant all my activities like my part time job; my weekly quilting group and my quilt class was on hold.

I started making facemasks in March when my local quilt store asked for help to make facemask for our local hospitals. After I make them for the hospitals, I thought I should make them for my immediate family and friends. Everyone that I follow on YouTube produced there on version of making a facemask and Instagram is still over posting of facemasks. But the need for facemask became overwhelming. Since my family and friends knew that I sew, I received over 100 requests for facemasks.

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But as time went by, I became stressed. I became withdrawn. Every day was like that movie “Ground Hog Day”. Every day I would get up and every day I would go to bed. I felt frozen, sad, overwhelmed, and mad that there was a need for everyday people to have to produce facemasks for our health care workers.

I usually find sewing relaxing, it’s my happy place. But sewing facemask was a constant reminder of our worlds condition. I was feeling stressed for a couple months. I am sure I was not the only one. I began reading daily devotionals, praying, and talking to my family and friends about how I was feeling. I began to feel a little better. I never left the house and my daughter told me that was part of the problem. She suggested to me to get out the house; I can go for a drive, take a walk, anything.

Once I started feeling better, I started making my family more facemasks. I thought, it looks as though we will be wearing facemask for a while and one isn’t going to be enough. People are going to need at least 10 each. So, I got to sewing more facemask but because I sew, I have tons of fun fabrics. If you must wear a facemask, why not make it fun. Wear a facemask that meets your personality. But it does feel good when I’m able to give facemasks and doing a small part to protect those I love.

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A Major Step

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I finally took that major step and opened as Etsy shop. Rosewood Create is global. I have been selling hand made products locally for about 6 years. I have not made a lot of money. My husband calls it my hobby. And maybe it is, but I am enjoying it.

I have been talking about opening a shop on Etsy for years. The main thing that has been holding me back was my business name “Rosewood Create”. When I first tried to setup an account, I was informed that my business name was not available. I looked throughout the Etsy platform and I could not locate the business name Rosewood Create. I could not understand why it was not available. I reach out to Etsy and they advised me to alter my business name. But I was not willing to do this, so I postponed opening a shop with Etsy.

Now, because of Covid 19 I do not see how I will be able to sell my product face to face. So, I decided one evening, after talking to my mother to give Etsy another try. My mother and I discussed different business name options then I took the plunge. But before I used one of the alternative business names, I decided to input Rosewood Create one last time. And I was shocked. Rosewood Create was available. I do not know how but I was in business.

Originally, I was going to just sell my handmade products, but I have so must craft product the I decided to sell that also.  Wish me luck on this new adventure

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Outreach Sewing Project

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Pillowcase Dresses for Haiti Children

A friend from my church that knows that I can sew asked me if I would be able to make some pillowcase dresses for Haiti Children. She said that her sorority is sponsoring a outreach project.

My friend sent me a copy of the pattern of a pillowcase dress and a shirt.  The dress pattern looked like a very easy pattern. But the shirt pattern seemed very confusing.  I asked her if I can just make the pillowcase dresses. She was happy that I wanted to help. She gave me about 30 pillowcases in various sizes.

According to the pattern the dress can be made in Small, Medium and Large sizes. So, I make various sizes. With some of the King size pillowcases, I cut them in half and was able to make two small dresses. I sewed elastic in the front and back and I used bias tape to make the ties.

I was like a dress making factory. I was sewing these dresses like it was on an assembly line. I would make 6 at a time. I would start by cutting the arm holes out, then I would sew the elastic casing in, then I’d sew in the elastic, finally I would sew on the ties using bias tape.

This was a quick and easy dress. I was able to make 30 dresses.

I looked online to see if there were other outreach sewing project. I’m not a sewing teacher but I think it would be great to go to other countries to help teach women or children how to sew.

Have you ever done an outreach project?

 

50th Birthday/Retirement Costume Party Scrapbook

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I finally finished my 50th Birthday/Retirement Costume Party scrapbook. This has been a great journey doing this book. Five years in the making.  I find, when you creating your scrapbook, its like your reliving the adventure or activity all over again.

This party was a blast. I wanted to do this celebration as a costume party because my Birthday is the day before Halloween. When I was younger, we would always celebrate my Birthday with a costume party. So much so, that I thought I was born on Halloween. So, I’ve always loved dressing up for Halloween.

For the party I decided to have three costume changes throughout the evening. I didn’t tell anyone as to get a reaction out of my guest. And everyone was surprised each time I appeared in a different costume. I got the idea from going to a Beyoncé concert. She would change her costumes between songs. This was my Beyoncé moment.

The first costume was Queen of Hearts. This was a fun costume. I was saying “Off with their Heads”.  I had the party at The Holiday Inn in the banquet room. I reserved a room near the banquet room so I could quickly leave a reappear in a different costume. My daughter Veronica helped me get into each costume and she did my hair and makeup. Man, that was crazy, but a lot of fun.

My second costume was Medusa. When I appeared in this costume, you should have seen everyone’s face. They were in total shock. I Loved it…

My third costume was a Mummy Bride. Again, my guest we’re totally shocked. They asked me “What is your next costume going to be?” I told them “this was it, the next thing I’m putting on is my pajama’s.” This was a fun night, but it was a lot of work.

I’m glad that I was able to create a scrapbook to remember this joyous time of my life.

What have you done lately to bring you joy?

February 2019 projects

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February 24, 2019

It’s almost the end of February and I’m just now feeling like I can really get my next crafting projects started. I say craft projects because I don’t just make quilts. In my earlier post I talked about getting my scrapbooking projects completed. But I’m a crafty girl and I like to do many different crafts.

Once a month I volunteer at my church to help kids with crafts. It’s fun and challenging at the same time. Because I must come up with the craft projects and sometimes it can take hours. Next week, I’m working with 5th and 6th graders. Some of the kids can work independently but other need more guidance in completing the project. The other challenge is that I only have about 30 minutes for the craft project, so it must be quick and easy (but not too easy, we all need a little challenge in life). We will be making a paper mache keepsake box and a 2019 calendar wall hanger.

Also, next week I am going to scrapbook at my friend Lisa’s house. I need to finish my 50th Birthday/Retirement party book. This will be a digital scrapbook. I like digital scrapbooks because these days everything is digital and most of our photos are on our cell phone. Although, I sometimes do still use a digital camera, but only when I know I will be taking a lot of photos and I want to reserve my cell phone battery. By making digital scrapbooks I don’t have to cut paper or tape anything. Also, when I go to a scrapbooking workshop, I just have to take my laptop. But I do still like making traditional scrapbooks. But I decided a while ago, not to buy anymore scrapbooking supplies just like in quilting, you accumulate a lot of supplies. I have boxes and crates of scrapbooking supplies that I’m sure I will probably never use.  I have many WIP (work in progress) or UFO (unfinished projects). These are quilting terms which can be life terms. But I could never understand why UFO is unfinished projects.  I’ll have to ask a quilting friend to explain that one.

I did start and finish two projects this month.

First, my quilted wall hanging for February was for Valentines Day. And to be honest I finished it that morning. It was a simple HST (half square triangle) pattern.  The pattern is Hart Block Pattern from Connie Kresin. It’s a fast and simple pattern. Once you make the block you can set it anyway or as large as you like. I made this wall hanging with sashing and a square in the middle. I quilted it with diagonal stitches using my walking foot.

In my quilting class I learned how to make a heart with foundation paper piecing. I had one mishap, but I fixed it. I think it came out nice, but you really have to concentrate when foundation paper piecing. This heart will be added to my UFO’s for next year. LOL

The second project I completed was a tote bag. I attend a weekly quilt class for Adult Education, and for Christmas we had a fabric exchange and challenge. We had to bring two half yards fabric in a paper bag. We had a drawing and with the fabric you received you had to make either an apron, wall hanging, table runner or tote bag. I received fabric with elephants and my daughter likes elephants, so I decided to make this tote bag. I didn’t use a pattern as you can probably tell. I thought, I don’t need a pattern for a tote bag. Well, I learned a few things along the way. But I think my daughter will still love it. Her mama made it.

What project did you complete for the month of February?

January 2019 Recap

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Well, January has ended, and February has begun. I wasn’t able to keep up with my weekly blog post. Life got so busy as it always does. For the month of January, I worked 8 days, attended both Quilt guild meetings, attended 5 sewing classes, went on a 4-day cruise to Mexico, attended Road to California for 3 days plus other life events.

Between all that I was preparing for a Quilt show that one of the guilds I belong to hosted. I pretty much have all my nine quilt entries quilted. I just needed to applique the centers of my flower quilt, complete some hand beading on my patriotic wall hanging, attach some bindings, quilt labels and quilt sleeves. That’s all…

The show was a lot of work and I think it was a big success. We had several quilt challenges. First was the portrait quilt. We had a featured artist Ramsess from Los Angeles. He was the person that taught our guild members the technique of portrait quilting. The next quilt challenge was a Holiday quilt (any size).  I made two wall hangings and a table runner. And the final quilt challenge was a quilt for a First Responder. My First Responder quilt was made for my long-time friend and Fire Fighter, Anthony Crowell. He retired in May 2018. I made him a Raider quilt.  I made Anthony a Raider quilt because I wanted to give him something he would love. And I know he loves his Raiders.

I attended Road to California in Ontario, CA. I didn’t realize how far Ontario was from Los Angeles, but its far. The quilt show was big. I was there for three days. The first day, Friday, I got there around noon. I decided I was going to just look at the quilts on Friday then the vendor Saturday and Sunday.  I was surprise on the number of quilts at the show. There wasn’t as many quilts at the show as I thought there would be. The workmanship was amazing on most of the quilts. I figure these quilters probably work on these entries for the entire year. The detail in some of the quilts was so incredible.  I can only shake my head. My favorite was the tribute to Prince. It was a Purple Rain of Prince proportions. But there was a lot of vendors. These vendors came from all over the United States and beyond.  Almost, every quilt supplier had a booth at this event. They were selling everything from all brands of sewing machines, longarm, embroidery machines. All the quilting accessories from fabric, panels, thread, scissors, pattern, rulers, trims, wool, books and any kind of quilting gadget you can think of, it was there.

I think I was good for the most point. I bought a set of Kai serrated scissors. Everyone was telling me that there the best. One of the things that I want to do is upgrade my tools. I bought three templates from Missouri Star Quilt Company’s booth. I bought Ideal Sean Guide from Sew Very Smooth. I bought some chenille bias tape from Chenille-It. I bought a couple of hangers for small quilts from Simply Put.  I was trying not to buy fabric, but I did buy a few panels. I hope that doesn’t count as fabric because it was hard to go by all these vendors and not buy something.

 

I also took a class at the quilt show, Explore the World of English Paper Piecing: Curves by Michele Crawford, Flower Box Quilts.  One of the things that I’m trying to do in my quilting journey is to learn new things. I don’t want to become a one trick pony. And I like the idea of being able to work on projects that don’t require me to always bring out my sewing machine. The class description said it was for beginner to advance, so I took it.  Although I did learn the concept of English Paper Piecing, I was saddened that the instructor was not that knowledgeable on doing curves. She was referring to an instructional book and she admitted that the sample for the class was her first time doing curves and she could not do the clamshell which was the third project. Needless to say, it was too bad, to spend the money for a class and the instructor failed to know the technique.  But my neighbor helped me get the hang of it. You will see my handy work soon.

Trying to stick with it.

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January 13, 2019

I have to first start this week with a few corrections from my last post. I realized later that my number lock was not cooperating so some of my information was not posted.  First, in February I will be celebrating my 25th Wedding Anniversary and I Retired 5 years ago. Now I can continue…

This year I’m going to try to make one quilt projects a month. So, my goal is 12 quilts project for the year.  I also want to make wall quilts. I have a friend that displays wall quilts throughout her house and I Love it. And wall quilts are small, so they don’t take long to make.  I currently have 2 wall quilts, so I’m going to try to make 10 more. Also, table runners shouldn’t take long to make.

I’m not going to make large quilts for a couple reasons. I made Queen size quilts for my mother, father, two sisters, brother and my two daughters. But no one is actually using them. They told me that there too nice. (Do you get that from people you make quilts for?), (Question from my quilting friends.). But I told them I made them to be used. So, now I’m mainly going to make throw or lap size quilts.

As far as my other sewing projects, I’m going to do a few craft shows and maybe sell some items on Etsy.

I’m also, going to try to finish some scrapbooking projects. I have a friend that is still hosting Creative Memory monthly scrapbooking workshop. I recently got her 2019 dates and I put them in my calendar.  My first scrapbooking project that I would like to complete is my Retirement party book (5 years ago). I’m doing this book in a digital format. I pretty much have it almost complete I just need to finish the journaling and maybe some more embellishments.

On January 25, 26 and 27th, I will be attending Road to California Quilter Conference in Ontario California. I hope its not too late but I’m going to try to sign-up for a couple workshops. I will post pictures from the show. I would love to enter my quilts in a large quilt show like this. That’s another goal.

I will be posting pictures from time to time of my projects.  But for now, I have to get my final projects completed for my quilt show on February 2, 2019.